As all of you who are in the loop know there has been no love lost between two dentists in Town. They have been at each other tooth and nail [excuse us -couldn’t resist] for 3 years managing to put filet mignon on the plates of several lawyers we can imagine. It isn’t all over yet [will it ever be?] but here is an update on where the dispute stands at the moment courtesy of today’s Chronicle Herald.
Halifax provincial court Judge Castor Williams ruled Tuesday there
was sufficient evidence to convict Dr. Hills on two charges of
under-reporting income of $55,454 in 1999 and $3,833 in 2002.
But Judge Williams acquitted Dr. Hills, 60, on eight other charges
under the Income Tax Act of conspiring with his brother, Howard, to wilfully evade paying taxes and making false statements between Dec. 31, 1999, and June 20, 2002.
Judge Williams also found Dr. Hills not guilty of two counts of
evading paying taxes of $17,127 and $844 in the 1999 and 2002 taxation years.
In dismissing the conspiracy charges, Judge Williams noted there has to be an agreement between two parties to act together to achieve a criminal objective. In this case, he said, there was no independent evidence to suggest Dr. Hills or his brother acted together to do anything unlawful.
There was also reasonable doubt as to whether Dr. Hills intentionally avoided paying taxes, he said.
The dentist will be sentenced July 6.
Following Judge William’s decision, Jeffrey Rafuse, with Canada Revenue Agency’s criminal investigations and enforcement division, said the charges stemmed from information Howard Hills provided to his brother regarding commodity trading losses.
The dentist reported those losses on his 2000 and 2001 tax returns.
Mr. Rafuse said the losses were used by Dr. Hills to reduce the reported earnings from his practice.
Mr. Rafuse said Howard Hills, who resides in Calgary, was using a company in Chicago to do commodity trading for his brother.
Mr. Rafuse said Howard Hills was passing the information about the losses on to his brother to use on his income tax returns.
That’s why Judge Williams found the dentist guilty of filing false statements, Mr. Rafuse said.
Howard Hills pleaded guilty through his lawyer in Halifax provincial court in May to two charges of conspiring to evade paying $17,030 in taxes in 2000 and $21,990 in 2001 that were owed by his brother. He was fined $20,000.
It doesn’t end there though. There is another suit in the works.
Dr. Hills is suing the head of the provincial dental board for more than $1 million in a defamation lawsuit.
In papers filed at Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Dr. Hills has accused
Dr. Andrew Nette of making defamatory statements to patients and the dental board “for the sole purpose of attempting to drive (him) out of business.”
The case stems from events that began about three years ago, when
Dr. Hills expanded his Main Street Dental Centre in Wolfville, which is a short distance from Dr. Nette’s practice on Gaspereau Avenue.
Any bets this will make Frank Magazine’s next issue?